Edward Albee's The Goat has been named the best play of 2002 by The New York Drama Critics Circle, confirmed a spokesman for the Broadway play.
The circle also voted to award a special citation to Elaine Stritch's one-woman show At Liberty. No award was given for best musical. (Note: Urinetown—which moved on Broadway this season—opened Off-Broadway in spring 2001 and was a finalist in last year's balloting.)
The Goat takes a hard and comic look at just how much in the line of aberrant behavior people with tolerate in their fellow humans, as illustrated by the character of a famous architect who suddenly and tragically finds himself in love with a goat.
The Goat prevailed after three rounds of voting. The first round produced no majority. A weighted ballot was used for the second round, resulting in three front runners: Fortune's Fool, The Goat and Topdog/Underdog. In the third round, each member voted for one play. The Goat won with nine votes to the eight of Fortune's Fool.
Albee previously won the Critics' Circle Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Three Tall Women. The Circle, which voted on May 7, is headed by president Michael Sommers (New Jersey Star Ledger), and was founded in 1935. Other current voters are Ben Brantley (NY Times), Clive Barnes (NY Post), Michael Feingold (Village Voice), Robert Feldberg (Bergen Record), Amy Gamerman (Wall Street Journal), Elysa Gardner (USA Today), John Heilpern (NY Observer), Charles Isherwood (Variety), Howard Kissel (Daily News), Michael Kuchwara (AP), Ken Mandelbaum, John Simon (New York magazine), Jacques le Sourd (Gannett), Donald Lyons (NY Post), Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter), David Sheward (Back Stage), Bruce Weber (NY Times), Jason Zinoman (Time Out New York) and Richard Zoglin (Time).